Cornell Johnson Essay Topic Analysis 2010-2011

4已有 1367 次阅读  2010-08-10 09:34   标签Johnson  Analysis  Topic  Cornell  Essay 
With only slight changes to the first and third essays, the admissions committee has decided to keep its unique second essay, the unusual life story/table of contents prompt, for the third year in a row.  Requiring only three questions, Johnson’s is among the shorter business school essay sets; careful thought should be given selecting examples and topics for  Essays 1 and 3 to ensure that you are presenting a well-rounded picture of your candidacy.  Johnson suggests that applicants write in Times New Roman 12 point font and single space their essays. 

Essay 1: Describe your greatest professional achievement and how you added value to your organization (400 words)

This is your fairly standard workplace achievement question.  When selecting a topic, make sure that you are choosing a story that highlights your interpersonal skills and ability to work with others in addition to your capacity to effect positive change.  Keep in mind that there are two main points you’ll need to cover: the impact you made on your organization and the process by which you brought this about.  It’s important that you provide quantifiable details and present the reader with a before and after picture to effectively illustrate the significance of your contribution.  In addition to this, you’ll want to explain the thought process behind your approach and the steps you followed, as the explanation of your reasoning is really what’s going to show the adcom that you possess the skills and knowledge that would enable you to replicate this level of impact in another job and make a valuable contribution to the business school itself.

Essay 2: What career do you plan to pursue upon completing the MBA and why? How will the Johnson School help you achieve this goal? (400 words)

This is a fairly typical career goals essay, although applicants face the challenge of providing the necessary information in just 400 words.  Economy of language will be key here, as you may need to provide a very brief overview of your career to date in addition to the requested information, so as to establish a basis for your goals and demonstrate that you would bring a valuable perspective to the MBA classroom.  There won’t be any room for a discussion of the general merits of a business education here – it will be crucial to include a significant amount of school-specific information to prove that you’ve done your homework on Cornell and are sincerely interested in the program.

Essay 3: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. Please write the Table of Contents for the book.  Note: Approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity. (400 words)
This unusual prompt calls for a high-level and non-narrative overview of an applicant’s life to date.  Internalizing the “Note” for this essay, applicants should understand that while the structure for this essay is set, there’s still a good deal of room for strategy and creativity: candidates are free to decide which eras or events to highlight, how to title each chapter, and so on.  Though relying on a list format might be a viable approach, candidates will likely get more mileage out of this essay by structuring information in paragraphs or a series of sub-sections under broad chapter headings, offering a description of that “chapter” in your life and drawing out the important themes of the story.  Regardless of the format you chose, make sure that it allows you to provide an authentic representation of yourself.

As for the content itself, the admissions committee is likely looking for a sense of each candidate’s background, as well as his or her trajectory and growth over time. Touch on those events and accomplishments that are most meaningful and important to you, highlighting the ones that have shaped your personal development.  Remember, though, that this is a b-school application, so you will also want to share information that is relevant to your current work and your future objectives without too much repetition of points raised in your other essays.  Overall, you want to make sure to highlight the unique aspects of your personality and candidacy, as doing so will allow you to stand out from others in the application pool.

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